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Need to replace hard drive on Asus TUSI-M Socket 370 microATX motherboard - Hitachi Deskstar 7K250 ?

Posted on 2004-09-11
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
Greetings:

I believe my hard drive has died completely. All attempts at rebooting with CD or floppies fail, ending in a message that the hard drive must be reformatted. I'll spare you the anguish that would entail.

I'm open to further suggestions about getting the thing to boot, but I believe I've tried everything, except maybe recovery console, which I have no idea how to use and MS's guidance on the subject, as usual, assumes you wrote the book on their operating system.

My plan, then, is to replace the #2!X**&^!! drive with a new one, and hope some data retrieval specialist can salvage some data from the old one.

I have read good things about the Hitachi Deskstar 7K250, but being hardware challenged, I am not at all certain this will be an automatic fit (cables, connectors, sockets, what have you) with the Asus TUSI-M Socket 370 microATX motherboard in the machine. Are they all alike, meaning, are all internal hard drives supposed to work in any desktop PC, regardless of whether its a few years old? Or do the newer drives, this newer drive in particular, require a new machine?

If the Hitachi will not fit, can you suggest the best possible (most reliable) make/model that will?

I need to get this done as soon as possible, so please, if you can help, do so right away. I'd give a thousand points for a definitive answer quickly, but I guess 500's the max.

Thank you.

regards,

stevenjs
____________________________________
"I am but an egg."
--Stranger in a Strange Land
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Question by:stevenjs
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by:_
_ earned 200 total points
ID: 12037111
It should fit with no problem. All you need to check is if your mobo will support that size harddrive ( gigs ). All a quick search has said is that it is ATA-66

>>> Stranger in a Strange Land  <<<  Good book! I have already wore out two paperbacks.  : )
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by:stevenjs
ID: 12037212
Glad you know the book. I often sign myself that way. You're the first to mention it. Now that you mention wearing out two paperbacks, I'm due for a serious re-read.

Vis-a-vis the question, a quck search has said *what* is ATA-66, and what does that mean?

I've been through the "mobo" user manual from cover to cover, and find to my surprise it claims to support up to a Gb of RAM, but did not find a word on the hard drive (which does not necessarily mean it is not in there somewhere).

I need a definitive, authoritative answer, because there's a "no return, no refund" policy on hard drives.

Let me know if you find out more, or find where I can find out more.

Thanks, nice hearing from a fellow "egg."

stevenjs
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by:_
ID: 12037242
ATA-66 is how fast the IDE bus is. Which size are you looking at?  < Capacity - 40, 80, 120, 160, 200, 250 GB >  Even if it is an ATA-100 or 133, it will clock down to 66. With a Socket 370 you might be limited to 80 to 120 gig. Do Not get the SATA drive!

You can poke around here and see if you can find more:

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&ie=UTF-8&q=Asus+TUSI-M+Socket+370&btnG=Google+Search
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by:_
ID: 12037247
You can also do a Google search on the chipset number and see if anything turns up.

Grok.   : )
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by:stevenjs
ID: 12038301
Coral47,

You underestimte the depths of my ignorance.

What thing is characterized by ATA-66 and/or an IDE bus? The hard drive? The mother board? Assume I know absoluely nothing at all.

Whatever ATA stands for, that particular combination of letters is nowhere to be found in the mobo user manual.

The full designation for the drive I am thinking of getting is Hitachi DeskStar 7K250 - Hard Drive - 80 GB - SATA-150 - 13G0252

 Now you are telling me not to get this drive? What is SATA and what is wrong with it? This drive (the 400 Gb version) won the 2004 PC best award.

In truth I don't need 250 Gb, I need absolute dependability, reliability and endurance. No more total crash failures !!

Google searches are quite impartial, except to people like me who do not know what anything means. One of them http://www.baber.com/baber/411/asus_tusi_m.htm mentions 2 x UltraDMA/66 Ports, but like the manual "ATA" is nowhwere to be found.

As for chipset numbers, there are three listed in the manual, which one is relevant?
SiS 630ET EC Integration Chip
ITE 8705 Super I/O Chipset ("I/O" sounds promising, is it?)
2Mbit Flash BIOS (doesn't sound likely)

A google search on the I/O turned up a link to a PDF of the user manual, that's all. The link given was www.unitycorp.co.jp/support/ download/manual/370/tusi_m_e.pdf though I did not go there as I have the manual in my hand.

A google search on "SiS 630ET EC Integration Chip" turned up no results, but "SiS 630ET" turned up the following tidbit, though I am uncertain of its relevance:

"The built-in fast PCI IDE controller supports the ATA PIO/DMA, and the Ultra DMA33/66 function that supports the data transfer rate up to 66 MB/s. It provides the separate data path for two IDE channels that can eminently improve the performance under the multi-tasking environment."

Again, no mention of this ATA, whatever that is.

Please let me know if you have other ideas or suggestions, and if you know any other "experts" who might know, please send them to this question.

Thanks Coral 47.

stevenjs
--Stranger in a Strange Land

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by:stevenjs
ID: 12039042
Here's a new wrinkle.

I just removed the *#!!?&*?!! twice-in-2-years crapped out drive from the PC and discovered that it is none other than the IMB Desktar IC35L, the precursor to the Hitachi Deskstar!!!!?? This junk is what is winning awards for HDD's in 2004??!!

A search on "IMB Desktar" IC35L turned up  http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/storage/display/ibm-60gxp.html
which is the only place I have seen "ATA" mentioned, though it is not explained, nor is Coral47's question regarding the ASUS answered. Coral47, where did you get this ATA 66 reference?

A search on "Asus TUSI-M Socket 370" ATA turned up nothing about ATA on the ASUS, or what Gb is supported, nor did the pages returned for the broader "Asus TUSI-M Socket 370" search.

All of which leads me to rephrase my question:

I believe IBM sold Hitachi a lemon, so I am wide open to suggestions what HDD to get.

What is the most reliable and durable HDD on the market today that will fit the same connections that the IBM Deskstar IC35L fit on my PC as well as the Gb capacity that my PC's Asus will support?

Though I would prefer more than the 20Mb I had, I will trade off storage space, speed, and any other feature if it translates into greater reliability and endurance. I want an indestructable workhorse, a jeep, not a jaguar.

After multiple google searches I still can't find a source for independent reviews of HDD's either. That would be a start, but I need to know whether fitting with the connections is going to be an issue, as well as what Gb the ASUS will support.

Help!?

regards,

stevenjs
--Stranger in a Strange Land
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ID: 12041261
Sorry for the delay. It was almost 2am at my last post.

ATA is just the just the newest way to say it's an IDE drive, and the numbers says how fast it will transfer data. Todays HD's are interchangable as far as installing goes.

IDE bus is the circuit that the drive uses to talk to the computer.

"SiS 630ET"  is the chipset I was referring to.

SATA is a new type of drive. The S means serial, where most ATA's are parallel. Your motherboard will not support a SATA drive without also getting a PCI SATA IDE card.

>>> junk is what is winning awards <<<   maybe they fixed it.   : )

Since you have a 20gig, you might be limited to 32gig HD size, but might handle a 40 or 80. I tried to get to Asus BIOS update page to see if I can find the max size, but it wouldn't load.  : (   I'll try later.
You might consider getting a HD that comes with a controller card, this will let you let you use a larger and faster drive with no problem.

Westeren Digital, Seagate and Quantum are good drives.

>>> other "experts" who might know <<<  usually a question like this is flooded with people. I was surprized no one had jumped in while I was gone.   : /
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by:stevenjs
ID: 12044400
Well, yes, I couldn't wait and luckily found a dedicated forum at storagereview.com, where all questions were pretty much answered. Actually spent quite a lot of the time trying to figure out how to install a new bios absent a working PC, which would have enabled any size drive desired. (I'm sending this on a Mac.)

I managed with their help to establish that I have currently have Asus' 1011 bios on the board, which according to one of the guys helping me out will support up to 137 Gb. Since we could not figure a way to install the new bios, I opted for the Seagate barracuda they recommended, in  80Gb to play it safe, which is 4x more than I'm used to, and likely more than I'll ever need, given the 120 Gb external drive I have.

Since you intitially brought it up, if you would be so kind as to verify the max size for me, I'll award the points. The link is http://www.asus.com/support/english/techre...thdd/index.aspx , though the TUSI-M is not expressly listed there, and the download page is http://www.asus.com.tw/support/download/it...SLanguage=en-us
though I don't believe either of these pages expressly states the Gb limit, and I don't know what led the fellow on the other forum to conclude the 1011 bios could handle up to 137 Gb, though he was immensely knowledgeable.

I have a call in to Asus, but no telling when they will respond, if ever.

Thanks for your continuing assistance.

stevenjs
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AlbertaBeef earned 300 total points
ID: 12050340
sorry for the delay in responding here, stevenjs...

First, I have to tell you that you will NOT be able to use an SATA (Serial ATA) hard drive in your system unless you also get a SATA controller card.  (It connects into an open PCI slot on your motherboard).  This extra card would be required because your motherboard is a parallel ATA standard interface.  

Now it's also likely your system may have troubles with today's larger hard drives, even if you use a regular parallel ATA drive, due to limitations with your motherboards bios.  As such, whether you choose parallel or serial ATA for your hard drive choice, you will do BEST to purchase an additional controller card to run it properly.  These cards can generally be had for under $30 regardless of which type.

In your manual you likely see it referred to as UltraDMA 66 (or UDMA66) , not ATA66...  even though they refer to the same thing.

If there is one thing to be sure of, acronyms in the computer industry can be confusing :-)

IDE means "Integrated Device Electronics", and refers to the hard drives electronics being integrated into the device, not seperate like they used to be many moon ago.  EIDE, or enhanced IDE improved on that technology.

EIDE was also referred to as "Attached Technology Attachment-2", or fast ATA.

ATA and the 133/100/66 speed mentioned in conjunction with it (ATA66, ATA100) refers to the maximum theoretical throughput of the hard drive's data transfer.  It is also referred to by many as Ultra DMA (or UDMA).

Ultra DMA (ATA/33)     33 MB/second
Ultra DMA (ATA/66)     66 MB/second
Ultra DMA (ATA/100) 100 MB/second

Serial ATA is a new standard based on serial instead of parallel signalling technology.  It uses a smaller cable, fewer connectors, can be a longer cable and as the technology improves will prove to be much faster than IDE.

A good website explaining it is here:
http://www.explosivelabs.com/articles/sata/index.shtml

That all being said, my recommendation right now would be to look at a good harddrive of a size you want and get a controller card to run it, whether ATA133 or Serial ATA150.  That way you don't have to worry about the compatibility with your system.

And yes, I like the Hitachi, or Seagate, or Western Digital...  but right now I'm really happy with Samsung just because they still offer a 3 year warranty on all drives, whereas most dont...
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ID: 12051114
AB!! Long time no see.    : )    How you been?   Nice SATA link. Thanks.   : )

stevenjs:  I couldn't find any gig limit either, but since it is a ATA-66 bus, 137gig is 'usually' the max. But as AlbertaBeef said, you Might have trouble with todays faster, larger drives (ie. over 100gig and or ATA-133. Especially ATA-133, as they don't always like clocking down to ATA-66, though they are suppose to.) The 80gig barracuda is a sweet drive. If this craps on you, you might want to look into something else killing the HD's. Like a funky A/C powerline, PSU (powersupply), or mobo.
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by:stevenjs
ID: 12054476
Greetings AlbertaBeef, thank you for responding.

Can you recommend a controller card?

What is involved installing it, a big hassle, thoroughly confusing, dangerous if done wrong?

I read a big caveat about updating a MB's bios at bootdisk.com, basically don't do it unless you absolutely have to, as there's a significant chance the flash will fail, and you'll have to replace the MB.

Also, The advice for updating at http://www.asus.com/support/english/techref/bios/aflash.aspx talks about DOS vs. MS-DOS, and I do not understand how that is supposed to play out. I rented a PC running XP for an hour and typing COMMAND in the run box got me MS-DOS, where c:/>format a: /s showed /s was invalid parameter. So where is this mythical DOS they're talking about, and how do you get to it, especially on a computer that only has a floppy and CD drive?

Why should this whole thing, this whole process be so complicated and fraught with danger? Doesn't anybody think about the people using these machines?! :-0

I don't mind spending the extra $30 if I can forever forget about the MB's antiquated bios, but as I said at the start, I am hardware challenged. Does this controller card also boost the ATA rate from 66?

Coral47,

Where do you get this information, that for ATA66 137 Gb is "usually" the max? Why "usually," what are the exceptions? Is my board an exception?

The seagate 80 should arrive either today or tomorrow. I'll order a controller card too once I know what to get. Will either of you guys be around to help me get these installed and working?

regards,

stevenjs
_____________________________________________
"I am but an egg."
--Stranger in a Strange Land
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by:stevenjs
ID: 12057205
albertaBeef,

Here's another wrinkle. The user manual states:

"Onboard IDE Bus Master controller with two connectors that support four IDE devices in two channels. Supports UDMA 100/66/33, (IDE DMA Mode 2), PIO Modes 3 & 4, and supports Enhanced IDE devices, such as DVD-ROM, CD-ROM, CD-R/RW, LS-120 and tape backup drives."

Does this mean it has a built in drive controller ??

Does this mean it supports a separate drive controller?

Does this mean it is not limited to ATA 66, but ATA 100??

Please advise.

stevenjs
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by:AlbertaBeef
ID: 12060735
Hi all,

Coral47, I've been fine, thanks, just very busy as of late.  Lots of travel and training at work lately, keeps me away unfortunately.

stevenjs, I'll try to address all your questions, please forgive me if I miss anything.

Controller Card:  Whether serial ATA (SATA) or ATA133, most of them work great -  I'd personally pick something up from www.pricewatch.com -  they have tons of them very cheap because many hard drives come with them, but some people don't need them because their systems work without the controller card...  as such these retailers are selling them very inexpensively.

The seagate you ordered, did you order SATA or ATA133?  That will tell you which controller card you should order.  If you click this link http://www.pricewatch.com/m/mn.aspx?i=44&f=1 it will take you to the 'controller cards' menu in pricewatch's website.  click on Serial ATA or ATA133, and yes, they're really available from $9 and $13 respectively...

Big hassle to install?  Nope.  Should come with pretty straightforward instructions, but if you do have hassles, post a question... there are TONS of people in experts exchange that have lots of experience installing these, and so far every question I've seen regarding installation of these has been answered successfully, even in very rare situations with bizarre computers...

Flashing BIOS:  yes, I agree, don't flash unless you need to.

Basically, DOS and MS-DOS refer to the same thing:  a text-based 'disk operating system' developed and used before the advent of graphical user interfaces.  The reason "/s" doesn't work in your xp format is that XP's operating system isn't designed to create a bootable diskette that way.   It's not a true dos, but a command window for those of us used to working from the command line.  I usually get my boot disks from www.bootdisk.com personally...  

Back in the days of Windows98 and such they used DOS in it's true form still, and could create system (boot) disks with the /s parameter.  There's really nothing mythical about it, you just don't really have it -  what you have is a compatibility mode.  confusing perhaps, that's why I get my bootdisks from www.bootdisk.com , lol.

bootdisks have DOS operating system files installed on them, and can boot your computer and allow you do do things like flash your bios, partition and format drives, etc.  They're not used much these days though.  In fact, I have two computers that don't even HAVE floppy drives in them...  I do most all my booting from CD.

As far as the process being complicated and frought with danger...  well, it certainly takes a level of skill now to do many hardware installations on computers.  Generally computers are made for users to use...  not for users to modify hardware.  If you wanted to supercharge your car, would you do the modifications yourself?  Unless you're a skilled mechanic, it's not something most people would attempt.  Computers, though not as expensive as a car, are oft times left best to skilled professionals, BUT that being said, with patience and curiousity (and possibly the occassional failed experiment), most people can learn to become quite adept at upgrading and repairs.  

Does the controller card boost it from ATA66  (or 100 if your system is rated for that.  It's an SIS chipset, which I haven't looked into much, but it may support ata100) -  YES.  Any device attached to the new controller card can take full advantage of it's rated speed.  By way of explanation, and to answer your questions - your motherboard has a built-in IDE controller.  Since the original Pentium cpus all motherboard chipsets have had built in IDE controllers.  There were some 486's that had built-in controllers, but most 486 computers and below required a seperate I/O card which had IDE and floppy controllers on them.  

The built-in controller on your motherboard is limited in what it can do because like all computer technology, it becomes quickly antiquated.  The new controller card doesn't replace the built-in controller on your motherboard -  it will always be there -  it simply adds to it, allowing more drives to be added than the standard 4 allowed by your board.  Any computer today with free PCI slots support a controller card.

Hope this helps explain things...
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Author Comment

by:stevenjs
ID: 12060906
I have no interest in SATA. Or 133, since the Seagate I ordered is ATA 100, not 133.

Will the Promise Ultra100 TX2 work in an XP environment (it notes every OS but that one in its specs), and does the quote from the Asus manual not mean ATA 100 is supported, not just ATA 66?

These are the burning questions.

Please let me hear from you as soon as possible.

stevenjs
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by:AlbertaBeef
ID: 12061070
The advantage of having an ATA133 card is for future expansion...  if you ever wanted to add a 200GB hard drive, you'd need one :-)

That being said, it is *possible* that your current board will support the 80GB drive your buying as-is, without the need for the controller card.  Without trying it, though, I couldn't say for sure.

Your SIS chipset on that Asus motherboard does INDEED support ATA100 (aka UDMA100) according to both Asus and SIS.  So have no fear, your ATA100 drive will perform to full spec as far as speed and transfer rates go.  The only question is whether it will, out of the box, be recognized as an 80GB drive, or if you'll need the card...

Yes, the Promise Ultra100 TX2 works in XP -  it's a good card, Western Digital shipped it with TONS of their 160GB and 200GB drives.   but, like I said, it's very possible you don't actually need it with your motherboard.

I'd personally only pick one up AFTER checking if my system recongizes all 80GB.  but then again, my family is Scottish and as such, FRUGAL, lol.
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by:_
ID: 12061333
Looks like AlbertaBeef covered it pretty good.

>> that for ATA66 137 Gb is "usually" the max. Where do you get this information <<  By doing it many times on different systems

>> what are the exceptions <<  some of the first mobo's to support ATA-33/66 were limited to 32gigs, until the new BIOS's and/or Chipsets came out.

>> Is my board an exception <<   At the start of this question, I didn't know.  But now I think it should be OK.

AB: Sounds interesting. Hang in there.   : )
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by:stevenjs
ID: 12062763
"Yes, the Promise Ultra100 TX2 works in XP -  it's a good card, Western Digital shipped it with TONS of their 160GB and 200GB drives.   but, like I said, it's very possible you don't actually need it with your motherboard.

I'd personally only pick one up AFTER checking if my system recongizes all 80GB.  but then again, my family is Scottish and as such, FRUGAL, lol."

Why isn't XP listed in the specs for the 100 TX2 while it is for the 133 TX2? These things worry me. What do they mean by "support" when they list these OS's? How do you know it works in XP?

I'm from New England, the land of "use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without!" ;-) but in some cases where I have been bitten by my own frugality, I splurge a little.

The question is, if the probability is the new drive will work with the existing motherboard and its existing bios, is there any further advantage to be had from using the Ultra100 TX2 controller card, assuming it does work in XP ?

Coral47,

The manual says UDMA 100/66/33, I don't know what led you to assume 66/33. If I'd known ATA is used interchangeably with UDMA sooner, I'd have been able to quote the manual sooner. It's all greek to me.

Anyway, I'll split the points on this.

AlbertaBeef, please let me know if there's an advantage to to be had from using the Ultra100 TX2 controller card, and why you're so sure it works out of the box in XP.

I hope you guys will be around when I actually install the thing (maybe tonight). Though I suppose that will be a separate question.

regards,

stevenjs
"I am but an egg."
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by:AlbertaBeef
ID: 12064609
XP isnt listed in promise's own specs because their specification sheets, data sheets, etc., were written and released before XP was.  How do I know it works?  I've used them on several drives with Windows XP.  Western Digital also has on their website specs regarding their controller cards and also says it works with XP.

If your new drive works 'out-of-the-box' with your system, the only advantage to the card would be the ability to run more than 4 IDE devices at once.

Coral likely assumed ATA66/33 because most socket370 systems, like you have, DID run ATA66 maximum.  It was quite common with chipsets at the time, the SIS chipset was an exception to that rule.

Fyi, there are several companies that manufacture chipsets (which are the main chips that 'control' devices on any motherboard).  These companies, whether it be Intel, SIS, Via or any other (but those are the big three players in the field) all have different specifications for each different chipset they manufacture.  Each chipset does several functions, and supports several different specs including:  IDE type (SATA150/ATA133/100/66/33), AGP spec (AGP8x, AGP4x, etc.), PCI spec, RAM type and speed support, CPU type and speed support, and much, much more.

Unfortunately it's impossible for us to remember the specifications on all the manufacturers different chipsets, and researching them can take a very long time, so it's easy to make a minor mistake like that one.

AlbertaBeef
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by:AlbertaBeef
ID: 12064647
BTW, here's a bit of the readme.txt document currently included in Western Digitals 'promise ultra100 tx2' windows drivers file from their software library-  You'll see they specifically mention WinXP.

====================
Contents on the disk
====================
README   TXT            This readme file
ULTRA                   Microsoft Windows miniport disk label file
TXTSETUP OEM            Microsoft Windows miniport text mode setup file

WINXP        <DIR>
  ULTRA    SYS          Microsoft WindowsXP miniport driver
  ULTRA    INF          Microsoft Windows miniport setup file

WIN2000        <DIR>
  ULTRA    SYS          Microsoft Windows2000 miniport driver
  ULTRA    INF          Microsoft Windows miniport setup file

WIN9x-ME       <DIR>
  ULTRA    MPD          Microsoft Windows9x-ME miniport driver
  ULTRA    INF          Microsoft Windows miniport setup file
  ADVPACK  DLL          Advanced INF file format support file
  PTISTP   DLL          Advanced INF file format support file
  PU66VSD  VXD          Promise power management driver
  SMARTVSD VXD          Promise S.M.A.R.T. driver

NT4            <DIR>
  ULTRA    SYS          Microsoft WindowsNT miniport driver file
  ULTRA    INF          Microsoft Windows miniport setup file

================
Software Version
================
Microsoft Windows NT miniport driver     2.0.0210.36
Microsoft Windows 95-98 miniport driver  2.0.0210.36
Microsoft Windows 2000 miniport driver   2.0.0210.36
Microsoft Windows XP miniport driver     2.0.0210.36
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Author Comment

by:stevenjs
ID: 12065512
Thanks a million, both of you.

Looks like it may not arrive today, which is surprising, usually only takes two days.

Anyway, I'll keep my fingers crossed for out-of-the-box, and grab a controller card if necessary.

regards,

stevenjs
_______________________________
"I am but an egg."
--Stranger in a Strange Land
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ID: 12071820
>> Coral likely assumed ATA66/33 <<  That was what the specs I read said. "Dual channel IDE supporting ATA-66". Must have been for a earlier revision.    : /

>> the SIS chipset was an exception to that rule <<  LOL  Yeah, they were good for that for a couple of years there. One of the first to come out with support for new specs.
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by:stevenjs
ID: 12074046
Coral47,

I don't know why, there was no option (I looked everywhere and went back several times) for splitting points. Why is that? Usually it comes up whenever there's more than one respondant.

Anyway, we can both thank AlbertaBeef for shining light in the nooks and crannies.

Thank you for your help. I'll probably have follow up questions soon. Keep an eye out..

regards,

stevenjs
--Stranger in a Strange Land
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ID: 12081326
Grok!  Not a problem. It happens sometimes.

>> we can both thank AlbertaBeef <<   Yes. He always has good info.   : )

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by:AlbertaBeef
ID: 12101701
>>Yes. He always has good info.   : )

Nah, I just fake it.  

Just kidding, lol.

I can, however, 'unaccept' this question and have it points split properly if you'd like, stevenjs.  Just let me know and I can do that.
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by:stevenjs
ID: 12102955
Well, it matters little to me, unless it matters to coral47, who seems okay with it as it stands.

It was you who gave the answer.

However, if you'd like to give him a 100 or 200, and he'd like to have them, I agree to it. I was surprised not to see the split option, and would have given him points for effort, and just for being an egg.

This isn't over by the way, I'll let you know when the next question arises. The replacment drive still hasn't arrived (Wednesday, the latest).

stevenjs
___________________________
"I am but an egg."
--Stranger in a Strange Land
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Highfive + Dolby Voice = No More Audio Complaints!

Poor audio quality is one of the top reasons people don’t use video conferencing. Get the crispest, clearest audio powered by Dolby Voice in every meeting. Highfive and Dolby Voice deliver the best video conferencing and audio experience for every meeting and every room.

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